The Stone at the Edge of the Field

My sister lives in Pittsburgh. The brother of a friend of hers was one of those gunned down in the synagogue. My sister said most citizens feel as if they are living in a fog.

Because of Congress’s Profiles in Cowardice, about the only thing left among the ruins of what was once a democracy is — for those not prevented — the right to

VOTE!

Vote into office those who will represent human rights. Vote out of office those who represent inhumane privilege.

And for all of you who subscribe in other countries, hope for us, hope we can help make America concerned again.

The Stone at the Edge of the Field

At the center is the quiet,
the wretched stretch of time,

the pause for the pirouette
of star above stone. Seed

and sprout die dislocated
from bog-birth, muck,

the glamorous tangle
of green and root. Rust

waits. Ash burns
into the forest’s floor.

–Jack Ridl

First published in Talking River

On April 1 (perfect!)  my new book, St. Peter and the Goldfinch, will be released by Wayne State University Press. Preordering is up at that link, and Julie says stay tuned for news of a PARTY!
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Visit Reader’s World in Holland, The Bookman in Grand Haven, and The Book Nook & Java Shop in Montague to find Jack’s books in West Michigan.

Jack’s page on Amazon.

Click here to subscribe to receive Jack’s poems and news in your inbox.

Click here for Jack’s entire collection, In Time — poems for the current administration.

Click here to watch Jack’s TedX talk.

St. Francis in Disney World

I am ever grateful for our dogs, how they bring out the best in me, contradicting that heinously imposed notion that we have no good within us. And I am ever grateful to so many who do the same. And though I am not grateful one twitch for 45, I am, like so many, deeply moved by all the good emerging because of his cruelty. A high school student here in this village is making sure her fellow students are registered to vote, aligning them with the thoughtful courage of the students from Parkland and other schools, who are demanding change. We who hope for kindness in our politics and the world often feel so out of place, when maybe, just maybe, we are not the ones out of place after all.

St. Francis in Disney World

The children come up to him, touch
his robe and giggle. He blesses them. They
run and ask their parents to take their photo
peeking out from behind his filthy holiness.
Mickey quietly comes up beside him, his
huge fingers dangling like loaves of Wonder
Bread, tilts his head as if to say you better
leave or take a bath and put on clean jeans.
St. Francis whispers, asking for the birds.
Mickey shakes his head. St. Francis holds
his place in line while each ride spins its
squealing riders round or up or down: a
chug, a plunge, a long and hopeless cast
of thousands, tons of hot dogs, fries, and
pizza, sushi, Coke and Pepsi, pie and
ice cream, chocolate. There are bees.
He has no ticket. He’s told to step aside. He
looks up where the sky should be. He
watches a cat slide under the plastic
elephant. He looks back up. The sky
has gone. The earth has gone. His feet
are sore. His hands are turning into
birds. His hood is filling up with coins.
His beard is filled with bells.

–Jack Ridl

First published in Dogwood

Subsequently published in Broken Symmetry (Wayne State University Press)

 

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Visit Roan & Black and Cabbages & Kings and Reader’s World to find Jack’s books in West Michigan.

Click here to subscribe to receive Jack’s poems and news in your inbox.

Click here for Jack’s entire collection, In Time — poems for the current administration.

Click here to watch Jack’s TedX talk.

And, of course, click here to visit ridl.com, check out what Jack’s been up to, maybe say hi!